I am ready for a rest at the end of a rather hectic week. The book launch was one thing; a charity I’m treasurer for had an important meeting about funding, the children made big decisions which involved me-as-mum making difficult phonecalls, (paid) work was normal but included an evening seminar and the nation (UK) has had a referendum on staying in Europe. All of great importance in different ways.
But today I realised that I am a writer. (Just putting that in words makes me feel like I’m coming out at Writers’ Whinge, or whatever our equivalent of Alcoholics Anonymous is). Obviously, I kind of knew that before: spending years writing, preparing and publishing In the Shade of the Mulberry Tree, and then repeating the process for Beware the Falling Avocados, does imply that I am a writer. My suspicion is that a proper writer would take less time and be more efficient and procrastinate less (yes, I really want to put the washing out/ walk the dog/ meet friends for coffee/ complete my tax return/ check twitter and Facebook…).
I spend time thinking and time writing and time editing. I spend time publishing and publicising. I promote my books as much as possible and purposefully push myself to the edge in order to get them known, against my better nature. Writing is what I do in between all the other stuff (see previous procrastination and hectic week paragraphs!)
This is why I know I’m a writer: today I concentrated on the next book. I have the outline of a novel which – with a bit of luck and a fair wind – will set sail into the publishing sea at some point in the future. Probably a long way off; possibly never, as I gather most authors leave their first novel in a bottom drawer… and their second and third… and only get published after many trials and errors. Not only did I work on the book I loved it! I spent three hours in the library sorting through paperwork and drawing a diagram of the plot structure. There are still some weaknesses to iron out, and a lot of questions to answer, but as a basic outline I feel quite confident. (Until I look at it afresh tomorrow, no doubt…)
I have no title for this venture. I feel I should give it a pet name, like ‘Bert’ or ‘Edith’ or ‘Fair weather friend’, but am likely to stick to ‘Novel 1’ for the time being. Perhaps a title will spring to mind as I actually put pen to paper/ tap away at the keyboard… That is the next job: harnessing the discipline to sit down and write. Not just when I feel like it, but regularly, so that the words accumulate, the characters come to life and the story takes a form of its own. I can’t wait to begin this exciting adventure!
In the meantime, I’m praying for peace for my country and the world. Who knows what the next 24 hours (let alone the eternity of ‘future’) will bring. The UK has already been rocked by the murder of Jo Cox MP and has been split by so much venom on both sides of the EU argument. I hold to Jo’s words: More In Common.
Make tea, not war.